Please act on behalf of people at risk of arbitrary detention following a large peaceful demonstration in El Aiun, Western Sahara

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Dozens of activists, demonstrators and journalists have been detained without arrest warrants following peaceful demonstrations on 30th June 2014 in El Aiun. Many more are at risk of arbitrary detention.

Two days after the demonstrations, the Moroccan authorities launched a campaign of arbitrary detentions amongst Saharawis who had participated, in the neighbourhoods of Shara Tan Tan, Batimat, Mazwar,Jamal Din Lafghani and Shara Smara in El Aiun. Many people have already been detained whilst others are at risk of detention and prosecution. Detainees include journalists working for the local TV station ‘RASDTV’.
Witnesses have confirmed to Adala UK that some detainees are held at unknown locations, have no contact to the outside world and are denied access to lawyers.
According to the Moroccan tv channels “El Aiun Regional” and “Marruecos 2”, the Moroccan authorities instructed local and national media channels not to cover the events or interview people who might criticize them or the political situation in Western Sahara generally.
 
Please act by sending the below letter to the Moroccan Ministry of Justice:

Mostafa Rmaidi
cabinet@justice.gov.ma
/or to the Moroccan Interior Ministry:

Send a letter to the Moroccan Minister for Justice, Mostafa Rmaidi(cabinet@justice.gov.ma) or to the Interior Minister, Mohamed Hasad (Fax 00212537214030)

Mohamed Hasad
Ministry of the Interior
Avenue Mohammed V,
Quartier Administratif Rabat
Fax: 00212537214030

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you to express my profound worry for dozens of people in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara, who are in immediate danger of arbitrary detention. Tens of activists, journalists and protestors have been detained without a court order following peaceful protests defending the Saharawi population’s right to self-determination on 30th June 2014 in El Aiun, Western Sahara.

I respectfully urge you to take necessary measures to ensure that:

– no-one is detained for merely peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly or association, or for their political affiliation

–  any person detained by the Morrocan authorities who is not accused of an internationally recognised crime is set free immediately and without conditions

– all those who are detained have immediate access to a lawyer, are presented before an independent civil court that must determine the legality of their detention, that they be able to see their families and have access to the medical attention they need

 –  the authorities make public immediately a list of those detained and their whereabouts. 

I thank you in advance for your time and attention regarding this matter and await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

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